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What are the Most Common Aerobics Moves?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The most common aerobics moves include side steps, forward steps and back steps, leg and knee lifts, and arm raises, among others. It is somewhat rare to find an aerobics class that only performs simple aerobics moves; typically, instructors will try to make a class be more challenging or interesting by integrating other moves from different practices into the class. For example, dance aerobics or kickboxing aerobics are two very popular classes that change up the traditional aerobics routine.

Nearly all aerobics classes will follow a similar pattern of warm-up, intense exercise to get the heart into the target heart rate zone, and cool down. The aerobics moves during the warm-up period are gentler, and are designed to gradually loosen the muscles and get the blood flowing throughout the body. Stretches, jumping jacks, or slow jogging in place may all be used as a warm-up. Cool downs are similar, and typically feature more stretching, such as toe touches and arm raises. It is best to stretch the muscles when they are warmed up from exercise rather than when they are cold, and stretching is a great way to slow the heart rate and cool down.

Depending on the length of the aerobics class, the period of intense exercise can vary. Usually, it lasts for approximately 20 to 25 minutes and is made up of a number of different aerobics moves. The only equipment needed to complete most aerobics moves is a non-slip mat, which may or may not be necessary, as well as an aerobics step. This is a low, lightweight step that one can step on and off of during the workout to make it more challenging. In a basic aerobics class, stepping is by far the most common move.

There are many different variations of stepping; these may include sidestepping and twisting, similar to a "grapevine" dance. Stepping back and forth off the aerobics step is another one. In addition, knee raises, side leg lifts, and rear leg lifts that tone the muscles on the back of the legs are all very common as well. Kicks and punches are often incorporated into kickboxing aerobics classes, or more complicated moves might be used in dance aerobics classes. Aerobics moves in most classes are designed to be fairly simple for the participants to follow; what matters is that the body is kept moving, and that the heart rate increases into the target zone.

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Discussion Comments

By Rundocuri — On Jan 21, 2015

@raynbow- If you friend likes to spend time in the water or has access to a pool, she should try doing some basic water aerobic moves. Even walking in water is a great, low-impact way for her to slowly re-introduce exercise to her injured leg.

By Talentryto — On Jan 20, 2015

@raynbow- Before your friend starts trying different aerobic moves, she should probably ask her doctor for some suggestions. He or she should be able to tell her what moves are best for her, or refer her to a physical therapist who can work with her until her leg has completely recovered.

That being said, I think that stretches and leg and arm lifts are great aerobic moves for anyone who needs a low-impact workout. These exercises will get your friend moving, and help her leg regain its flexibility. However, since they are so low-impact, stretches and lifts are not likely to cause her any further problems.

By Raynbow — On Jan 20, 2015

I'm looking for some ideas for a simple aerobic exercises for a friend who is recovering from a leg injury. She has been given the approval by her doctor to begin exercising again, and but she has to start with low-impact movements. She has found that most aerobic classes in our area focus on workouts that are made up of rigorous exercises that she can't do yet.

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